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Torpedo Run More at IMDbPro »

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49 out of 58 people found the following review useful:

The Most Realistic Submarine Movie Out There

Author: nabor7 from Texas
23 June 2004

Having served in submarines for six years, and having seen every submarine movie possible, TORPEDO RUN is the most realistic movie yet. The submarine interior including the conning tower brought back a lot of memories. The crew terminology and actions were true to form. The gliches were few but only a submarine historian or WWII veteran would pick up on most of them. The opening scene of the ship in the periscope is not the same ship shown a few seconds later in actual footage being sunk. Also in 1942-1943 torpedo reliability was low and very seldom would only one be fired. I doubt that if a Captain would have known there were prisoners aboard a transport would the chance be taken as Barney Doyle took. At least one transport was really sunk carrying prisoners, but it was not marked as such and it was proceeding as a normal transport. All in all this is my favorite sub movie and I enjoyed every minute if it. Some seem to think it drags on and the story line is to simplistic. That's how it was. A sub's duty was to sink enemy shipping and there would be days of boredom followed by hours of gut wrenching tension amid depth charging, and constantly being chased under by aircraft. I highly recommend TORPEDO RUN.

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21 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

An excellent submarine movie

Author: mr. sardonicus
12 September 2000

Glenn Ford is excellent as Barney Doyle, the war weary sub commander who has to make command decisions which will haunt him the rest of his life. The supporting cast is very good, especially Borgine as Arch, Doyle's second in command and best friend. The director, Joseph Pevney, does a good job of creating an atmosphere of tension as the Americans hunt down the prize of the Japanese fleet--the ship which ultimately costs Doyle his family. My favorite scene is when the American sub sneaks into Tokyo Bay in search of the Japanese carrier. Admittedly, Torpedo Run is not as gritty and intense as Das Boot, nor is it as action-packed as The Hunt For Red October, but in its own way it is on par with both of these fine films. If you like 1950s WWII movies or if you're a Glenn Ford fan, you can't miss with Torpedo Run. It's one of those movies I have to watch at least a couple of times each year.

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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Well Done, Sailor.

Author: Bill-16 from Pennsylvania, United States
11 February 2007

I rank this up there with any of the other great Submarine movies. Das Boot, Enemy Below, Run Silent, Run Deep and others.

Glenn Ford is always at his best playing this type of character. Conflicted and mentally pained men who have tough decisions. Ernest Borgnine, as usual almost steals the movie though. He is one of the greatest second fiddle players in any movie he co stars in. Being someone who grew up watching him in McHale's Navy as a child and later learning just how great of an actor he can be, is a treat.

I do think the flashback scenes hurt the pace of the movie, but are necessary for context.

The movie is well filmed and makes great use of color. Many other great Sub movies about WWII are in Black and White, but that doesn't seem to take away from them. Here, the color is big plus.

I love Submarine movies probably because I know, that if I had the honor to of served in the U.S. Armed Forces, this would be the last place I'd want to be. Above the water I could tolerate it in battle, under it, I'd be a panicking wonder how I'd get out if we got hit. For that I salute everyone who served underwater, no matter which country you call home.

8/10 Rating.

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20 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

only fair

Author: amolad from Los Angeles, Calif.
4 March 2001

This is not such a successful movie. Glenn Ford is solid as always and Ernest Borgnine delivers a serviceable performance, but the problem is the script and direction. The story is on the sluggish side and after the midway point you don't have a sense of enough really at stake. The flashbacks to civilian life also take the audience out of the war story in a way that releases any built-up tension. Then the movie has to start all over.

The effects are also not terribly good, even by 1958 standards. Too many model shots of ships, and the interior of the sub really does feel like a studio set, especially due to the lighting design.

One thing that is especially interesting about TORPEDO RUN is a sub evacuation sequence in which the seamen exit the submarine at the floor of the ocean using Momsen-lungs, special breathing devices. These devices are very rarely shown in submarine movies.

A much, much better sub movie was released a few months before this one: RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Old Fahioned Which Isn't A Bad Thing For Brits

Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
1 March 2014

This is one of these films that we don't get nowadays and hasn't been produced for decades . Hardly surprising since 1945 only two submarines have killed ships in conflict . The first one being the Pakistani submarine PNS Hangor that sunk the Indian frigate INS Khukri in the 1971 India - Pakistan war and the last time was the Argentine Cruiser The General Belgrano being sunk by HMS Conqueror in the 1982 Falklands War . On top of the 1981 movie DAS BOOT has got to be the last word on this sub genre of war movie . It's very easy to express tension in these type of movies , of having silent routine as enemy ships patrol over head dropping depth charges and have close ups of submarine crewmen with beads of sweat slowly dripping down there foreheads but DAS BOOT did this type of drama so effectively and so vividly any successor would be a very pale imitation

TORPEDO RUN on its own merits isn't a bad film . It doesn't break any new ground but follows the formula rather well . Like so many other films especially American war films there's a fair bit of artistic licence used such as no American submarine actually penetrated the Tokyo harbour during the war and the mega massive Japanese aircraft carrier is an invention for the film . There is a slightly annoying aspect and that is many of the model shots look unconvincing but this is common problem seeing as scale involving fire and water are impossible to achieve on screen and even DAS BOOT suffered slightly from this

One thing the film does deserve great credit for is the British character Lt Redley played by Robert Hardy . All too often recent American productions such as SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and BAND OF BROTHERS portray the Brits as either amateurish buffoons needing rescuing by the tough , brave and resourceful Americans or make an already bad situation much worse leaving the hard pressed Americans to pick up the pieces while the British stop to drink some tea . Here we see Redley put forward a suggestion that gets the crew out of a very tight spot . Nice to see the war shown as a joint effort amongst allies who had a mutual respect for one another

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Dramatic sub movie

Author: Mars-19 from Seattle, WA
3 April 2005

More a drama than an action film, this movie may have a fairly simplistic plot line and a few implausible events but it's primarily about the sort of awful decisions men sometimes have to make in war and the actors all do an admirable job of conveying different reactions to the consequences of a bad call. Particularly good is Glenn Ford as a commander who finds himself risking the lives of his own wife and child for the greater good. Ernest Borgnine is as always superb as his first officer and best friend and the very personal events unfolding in front of the entire crew give an excellent example of how an extremely insular environment like a submarine can be, while still stripping everyone on board of the luxury of privacy. The setting--World War II, and a hunt for an infamous Japanese aircraft carrier--are handled well and if details aren't 100%, it is no less accurate than most Hollywood submarine films, with an interesting personal tone amidst the technical and Navy confines.

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13 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

A Classic Submarine Picture!

Author: whpratt1 from United States
26 February 2004

If you are interested in the way the Navy crew operates under the ocean floors, you will love this great Navy story about how the U.S. Navy was able to out wit the enemy which was Japan during WWII and all the tricks of the trade that were utilized under the very depths of the Pacific Ocean. The photography was great for a 1958 film and Glenn Ford( Lt. Cmdr.Barney Doyle),"Pocket Full of Miracles",'61, gave a great performance along with some mental blocks that was interfering with his command of his submarine. However, Ernest Borgnine(Lt.Archer Sloan),"Marty",'55, was a loyal officer to Barney and turned down his own commission as Commander to assist Barney in his hopes to destroy a FLAT TOP (aircraft carrier) of the Japanese Navy. There was a very interesting scene where the submarine crew was able to evacuate their sub and be able to surface to another submarine for safety. This is truly a Classic film from the past and I am quite sure some of these events actually happened during WWII.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Two man movie in Pevney's undervalued submarine drama.

Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom
24 February 2010

The Pacific, 1942, and Submarine commander Lt. Cmdr. Barney Doyle (Glenn Ford) is pursuing the Japanese ship that led the attack on Pearl Harbor back to Tokyo, where to all intents and purposes, he plans to enact revenge. But there's a major problem in the form of a freighter that is being used as a screen in front of the ship. For this freighter houses American prisoners of war, among them Doyle's own wife and child.

A well put together psychological thriller by director Joseph Pevney that is formed from a novel by Richard Sale {who co-writes the screenplay with William Wister Haines}. Tho the usual problems that exist with WW2 film's from this era are evident here {racist undertones, jingoistic sloganeering & hierarchy back slapping}, Torpedo Run manages to break away from its inheritance to become a taut involving aquatic drama fit to be named alongside the best in the submarine sub-genre of war movies.

Glenn Ford's performance is well layered and credible. Few actors from his generation are as undervalued for playing personally conflicted characters as he is, and here as Doyle he is on top characterisation form. He is ably supported by Ernest Borgnine as Lt. Archer 'Archie' Sloan, Doyle's right hand man, friend and professional conscious. It's with the two actors that the plot rightly focuses on, but this sadly puts the supporting characters in the shade. Thus the one truly important thing lacking from the piece is a total group dynamic expose. But thanks to the strong lead performances, and Pevney's no tricks directing, the film survives its failing. There's also added weight thrown into the narrative with the use of flashbacks to show how Doyle's relationship with his wife evolved. This helps us to be privy to Doyle's torment as he must make a career and life altering decision in the midst of war. The action is of good quality, especially the eventual showdown between the rivals. And as one who personally likes to see the forgotten art of model work used effectively, this film also scores high on the exciting scale for like minded film fans.

Far from perfect for sure, but there's much to admire and be involved with to make it a solid recommend to fans of WW2 human dramas. 7/10

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Decent enough, fairly early, genre movie.

Author: Boba_Fett1138 from Groningen, The Netherlands
13 August 2007

The movie has a pretty interesting approach for '50's standards, by inserting lots of flashback sequences, with the home-front, that however also happen to be incredibly sappy. It does at parts make the movie a melodramatic one.

Submarine movies just never have been any of the best or most exciting, action packed movies because of their restraints, with a couple of well known exceptions of course. The movie has a good beginning but as it heads toward the ending the movie starts to drag and become less interesting, when the movie becomes more personal and gets filled with some more emotional aspects.

It even manages to put in a personal and family dramatic main plot-line in the movie. What an accomplishment for a submarine movie! Yes, it helps to make the movie more original and less formulaic but it also of course isn't the most interesting approach thinkable, especially not since it gets stretched out for the movie its entire duration.

The miniature effects were pretty good looking. I mean I have seen far worse, even from movies that were made much later. Although they are hard from convincing by todays standards of course.

Glenn Ford was a great choice for the main lead, as the tough looking but sensitive commander. Ernest Borgnine forms a good duo with him, as the submarine's lieutenant. The rest of the character remain mostly in the back.

A decent enough genre attempt.


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

It's about choices...hard ones

Author: nomoons11 from United States
10 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a pretty decent little war drama. It's not high on the "must see" list but it's got Glenn Ford in it's worth a watch.

The subs captain is living in Manila with his wife and child before the war starts in the Pacific. His wife in Manila, decides to stay behind and hide in the hills/mts. if and when the Japanese invade. The captain tries to put his foot down but she won't have it, she's staying with their child. Well the Japs invade and they imprison her and the child. The Japs know what sub captains are in the area and decide to take a troop ship of prison camp detainees, 2 who include his wife and child, all the way to Japan. They use the ship to block a heavily fortified Carrier ship from being torpedo'd by the captain. Well, they make the wrong move. The captain tries to shoot the Carrier anyhow...and misses...hitting and sinking the transport ship...killing his wife and child. From here on out its a cat and mouse game of finding the carrier ship he missed.

What I got out of this film is making good and bad choices. If he would have laid down the law with his wife, they would have been somewhere else..alive and well....but he acquiesces and lets her have her way. Down the line he eventually shoots the boat by mistake. Both of these were difficult choices that he now...has to live with.

So what would you have done?

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